December 27, 2008

Saturday, 12/27

NYT 44:22
LAT 27:51
CS 7:50
Newsday tba (maybe)

(Updated at 12:45pm Saturday)

Hi everyone. PuzzleGirl here, trying to make it through the tough Saturday puzzles and then I'm outta here! Gonna be a little lazy tonight — hope you don't mind. I'm also filling in for the vacationing Rex Parker, so I'm going to send you over to his blog if you care what I think about today's New York Times crossword. I'll have the post up over there by 9am and I'll see you back here a little later with the rest of the day's puzzles.


I couldn't finish Brad Wilber's L.A. Times crossword without mistakes. Having gurgle for BURBLE at 1A — and being completely convinced that it was correct — made the northwest impossible. I also didn't know the word SARACEN so Siracen looked fine for [Crusader's foe] and [Neighbor of Scorpius] ARA might as well have been Ari. But this puzzle had a lot of fun fill. Only real clunker for me was the wildly out-of-place AWNINGED. But here's the sparkly stuff I liked:

  • [Illegal aid?] = CRIB, as in crib sheet, a small note you can hold in your hand (or hide somewhere else unobtrusive) and cheat from while taking an exam.
  • [Hummer, e.g.] = GAS HOG. Have you seen the website where people submit pictures of themselves flipping the bird to Hummers? Good stuff.
  • [Ark and bark] are BOATS. See also [Sailer "round Nassau town" of song] Sloop JOHN B.
  • [Tweezing target] is a UNIBROW. I was thinking the more benign eyebrow.
  • [In days of yore] = AGES AGO. I originally had long ago, but I like the real answer better.
  • GIGO is a [Data entry acronym] meaning "Garbage In, Garbage Out."
  • This is embarrassing. For [1998 Reeve memoir] I had S-IL--- and came up with So I Lied. That would be completely inappropriate now, wouldn't it? Actual title of Superman's book: STILL ME.
Randall J. Hartman's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Go Ahead," adds the letters GO to the beginning of familiar phrases and then clues the resulting phrases with question-mark clues.
  • [Mongolian newspaper?] = GOBI WEEKLY (bi-weekly)
  • [Stabbed hair stylist?] = GORED BARBER (Red Barber)
  • [Stroller component?] = GO-CART WHEEL (cartwheel)
  • [Incite ERA advocate?] = GOAD LIBBER (ad libber)
Just a couple quick observations:
  • I don't believe I will ever get used to ALTA being the abbreviation for Alberta. There really needs to be a B in there somewhere.
  • [It's got you covered] = EPIDERMIS. Made me laugh out loud.
  • Did you know Madagascar (wrong answer) and MOZAMBIQUE (right answer) have the same number of letters?
So I'm still working on Sandy Fein's Newsday Saturday Stumper and ... it's not looking good. This is what I have so far:

But hey! I'm only 20 minutes in! If I finish this one, I'll log back on and tell you about it. If I don't, well, maybe Orange will take three minutes or so to complete the ridiculously hard puzzle and enlighten us all. It's been a blast as usual, guys. All together now: "Welcome back, Orange!"